Recent reports issued by eMarketer suggest that online display advertising investments will soon outpace online search revenues. I strongly disagree. eMarketer, typically a reliable source, compiles data from multiple providers including those with a specific vested interest. Myers' long-term advertising and marketing spending data, which has been an industry standard for more than two decades, argues that online originated display advertising growth is, in fact, slowing, and will increase only an average 5.0% annually through 2015. From 2016 to 2020, Myers forecasts that online originated display advertising will actually decline in total advertiser investment by an average 2.0% annually. (See detailed annual data and spending totals below.)

By comparison, online and mobile search marketing is forecast by Myers to grow 12.0% in 2011, 12.0 % in 2012 and 14% annually from 2013-2015. Between 2016 and 2020, Myers projects search marketing investments will increase an annual average 12.0%. Myers' projections for growth in search are predicated on the anticipated increases in mobile search, which will grow exponentially as smart phone distribution increases. Search technology is also improving as are search speeds and accuracy. Display advertising inventory will continue to increase, but marketers will shift their digital ad strategies increasingly to mobile, online video, social and support for their own sites and apps. Myers data includes U.S. domestic spending only.

Myers' full 2000-2020 Advertising and Marketing Investment Report, which includes spending data and forecasts for 55 media and marketing categories through 2020, is available to Jack Myers Media Business Report subscribers at As previously reported by Myers  total digital advertising and marketing investments will grow from a current base of 8.0% of today's marketing budgets to a projected 42% in 2020. The primary growth categories will be social marketing, search, mobile and online video advertising, plus media-directed promotional initiatives.

Display advertising will remain relatively static, increasing from $5.6 billion in 2011 to only $6.0 billion in 2020. By comparison, search will increase from $14 billion this year to an estimated $41 billion in 2020, according to Myers data. Suggestions that display advertising will somehow surpass search are difficult to fathom.

The Myers data projects growth in mobile advertising and marketing from $1.3 billion this year to more than $17.0 billion in 2020. Online originated video content advertising (not including the online and mobile video ad revenues of TV networks and other legacy media), will increase from only $500 million in 2011 to more than $14.0 billion in 2020. Social marketing, including social commerce, word-of-mouth, conversational marketing and emerging forms of social media (but not including display advertising in social media sites) will increase, according to the Myers data, from under $2 billion this year to more than $46 billion in 2020. Most of this incremental growth will come at the expense of direct-to-trade promotion, direct mail and consumer sales promotion.

Jack Myers Media Business Report Forecast  
  Online Display Adv.   Online & MobileSearch Mktg.
000,000 $ % Change       $ % Change
2010 5,242 9.2%   12,498 16.8%
2011 5,582 6.5%   13,997 12.0%
2012 5,917 6.0%   15,677 12.0%
2013 6,213 5.0%   17,558 12.0%
2014 6,462 4.0%   20,192 15.0%
2015 6,643 2.8%   23,221 15.0%
2016 6,722 1.2%   26,007 12.0%
2017 6,722 0.0%   29,128 12.0%
2018 6,588 -2.0%   32,623 12.0%
2019 6,324 -4.0%   36,538 12.0%
2020 6,008 -5.0%   40,923 12.0%
SOURCE: Jack Myers Media Business Report 2011      

SOURCE: Jack Myers Media Business Report Media & Marketing Investment Forecast December 2010. Source details available here.

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